This February, one of Johns Creek UMC’s own recreational basketball teams received a unique opportunity. Team Liberty, made up of 5th and 6th grade girls, attended the Atlanta Hawks Youth Classic, organized by the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Academy.
“What an amazing opportunity for our girls!” exclaimed coach Leah Reynolds. “The JCUMC basketball league George Wilson manages each year is a fantastic environment for our young ladies to learn the game of basketball teamwork and sportsmanship; and this tournament gave them an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and compete against some fantastic talent!”
The 3 day showcase is the largest free-to-register youth basketball showcase, with 80 teams in attendance of various ages and skill levels. With 12 basketball courts at 125 games taking place in the LakePoint Champions Center, there were plenty of opportunities to watch and learn as well.
“The highlight of the weekend was a 27-26 win over a stronger and faster team where one of our girls in the huddle said to her teammates, “We are NOT losing this game,” recalls coach Leah, who lead the team through the girls’ 12 and under open division.
Coaches throughout all of the recreation programs at Johns Creek UMC receive training through the Positive Coaches Alliance program which highlights important life skills in and out of the game. Teams not only celebrate their wins but they celebrate each other in every game. Coach Kevin Reynold has found this style of coaching promotes a stronger, closer relationship between teammates.
“The girls formed a tighter bond as a team because of their participation in this tournament. In a couple of the games they faced some real adversity, but they did not give up, and that will only help them – in both their future sports endeavors and in life!”